Thursday, December 26, 2013

China's ex-works price of citric acid undergoes downtrend, Sept.-Nov. 2013

As early as June-Aug. 2013, manufacturers increased the ex-works price of citric acid several times due to the increasing product cost and the peak season of the drinks industry, which increases demand for citric acid after suffering losses due to the low price of citric acid in the first five months of 2013.

The decrease in the ex-works price of citric acid during Sept.-Nov. 2013 could be attributed to the following aspects:
First and most important, weak demand for citric acid. Compared with H1 2013, the ex-works price of citric acid remained high during Sept.-Oct. 2013 so that dealers had weak desire to purchase large amounts of this product. Besides, as entering the off season of drinks, the demand for citric acid from the beverage industry atrophied accordingly.

Additionally, China is the largest citric acid producer in the world, and the consumption of this product depends on the overseas market to a great extent. However, citric acid exports remained weak in this period. According to data from China Customs, the export volumes of citric acid were 51,425 tonnes in Sept. and 52,501 tonnes in Oct., 7,155 tonnes and 6,079 tonnes less than that in Aug. respectively.

Second, the decrease in the cost. As the supply of corn has been increasing since Oct. 2013, the market price of corn declined in Oct., and it fluctuated at a low level in Nov. 2013.

Moreover, under the current circumstance of citric acid overcapacity, in order to occupy more market share, manufacturers have carried out low price tactics during this period. Also, towards the end of 2013, manufactures have a strong desire to sell their stock of citric acid to get funds.
It is estimated that the ex-works price of citric acid will remain stable in Dec. 2013. Generally, the profitability of citric acid has been very low due to the decreasing sales price of this product. Plus, with downstream dealers willing to purchase citric acid for stock at its current lower price, it is unlikely that citric acid producers will decrease the price. However, winter is the traditional slack season of citric acid, so demand for it will still be limited, which will hardly drive up its price.

In the long term, citric acid will still face challenges in China, as its export volume may be affected by the European Union (EU)'s sunset review and midterm review investigations on China's citric acid, which started on Nov. 30, 2013 by the European Commission, in response to applications from SA Citrique Belge and Jungbunzlauer Austria AG. The midterm review investigation is mainly to survey the damage form in the anti-dumping measure. The Hs Codes of correlated products are 29181400 and ex29181500.

In Sept. 2007, the EU launched an anti-dumping investigation into China's citric acid, and in Dec. 2008, the EU issued its final ruling.

The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain are the main EU destinations of China's citric acid. In 2012, China had exported 117,620 tonnes of citric acid to these four countries, accounting for 16% of the total export volume of domestic citric acid. 

If the EU rules to continue anti-dumping measures against China's citric acid during the implementation term of anti-dumping measures, it may have a negative influence on China's export of citric acid in the near future

Furthermore, the demand for citrate will also have a certain impact on the demand for citric acid, as it is a direct downstream product of citric acid and its consumption relies on the overseas market as well.

Similarly, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy and Poland are also the main EU export destinations of China's citrate. Data from China Customs shows that in 2012, China had exported a total of 42,700 tonnes of citrate to these six countries, accounting for around 33% of China's total export volume of citrate.

Source: Corn Products China News issued by CCM in December.

Table of Contents of Corn Products China News 1312:
2013 annual review of China's corn products industry
China returns 120,000 tonnes of GM corn to the US again
Chinese corn products Imp. & Exp., Oct. 2013
China's inositol export value up but volume down, Jan.-Oct. 2013
Price update of corn products, Dec. 2013
China's ex-works price of citric acid undergoes downtrend, Sept.-Nov. 2013
China's ex-works price of lysine shows overall decline, Jan.-Nov. 2013
North China Pharmaceutical to compensate USD153 million for VC price fixing
Meihua Group commits to product development recently
Overview of new carbohydrate source—solid fructose-glucose
Applications of functional oligosaccharide in soybean products and collagen beverage
Nationwide government corn purchase for temporary reserve starts
2013/2014 minimum sugarcane purchase price in Guangxi decreased

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